One Vernon school hoped to finish in fifth place, another in seventh at the B.C. AA high school basketball finals Saturday in Langley.
The sixth-ranked Vernon Panthers took on the York House Tigers of Vancouver for fifth place in the girls tournament.
The Panthers rebounded from a 63-57 quarterfinal loss Thursday to the St. Thomas More Knights of Burnaby by knocking off the Sa-Hali Sabres of Kamloops 59-46 Friday in an Okanagan Valley championship final rematch.
“We came out playing great and were up 21-4,” said VSS co-coach Lonny Mazurak. “We were playing at a really high pace and then we stopped playing at that level. We weren’t aggressive and they came back. That was the best I’ve seen Sa-Hali play. The girls played a very patient final three minutes, holding on to the ball and getting some good looks.”
Game MVP Karley Fugel led the Cats with 19 points and 15 rebounds while Jordan Korol chipped in eight points and 14 boards.
Against the Knights, the Panthers had a great start, leading 12-10 after the opening quarter. But an 11-1 St. Thomas More run late in the opening half had the Cats down 31-23 at the break.
“Our girls fought hard and executed the game-plan very well, but St. Thomas More made three-point shots when they needed to,” said Mazurak, joined on the bench by John Keeley. “Both coaches are proud of their effort.”
Anna Rice was Vernon’s game MVP.
The No. 8 Fulton Maroons faced the St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints of North Vancouver for seventh place Saturday in the Telus AA boys tournament.
The top-ranked St. Michael’s University Blue Jags of Victoria shot nearly 47 per cent from the field Thursday as they dumped the Maroons 70-34 in a quarterfinal.
Guards Tye Kitzman had 10 points and Michael Rouault had eight for the Maroons, who never led, trailed by as many as 42 points and were held to just 25 per cent shooting from the field.
Relegated to the consolation side Friday, Dale Olson’s squad dropped a 57-46 decision to the Elphinstone Cougars of Gibsons.
“It was 10-10 with 1:30 left in the first half,” laughed Olson. “Then there was an explosion and it was 17-13 at the half. Stuff that normally goes in wasn’t dropping. Rouault fouled out with five or six minutes left and we were up by five so that hurt us.”
Kitzman and guard Darrien Broomfield led Fulton with a dozen points each.
The host Charles Bloom Timberwolves were looking to finish the B.C. A girls championships on their home court Saturday with a second straight victory.
The Timberwolves faced the Fort St. James Falcons for 13th place.
Bloom got into the win column Friday after two straight defeats with a 62-44 decision over the Pender Harbour Sakinaws.
“Vicky Grahn was our player of the game,” said Bloom co-coach Jennie Currie. “She sets up every play for us and gets the ball up the floor. Now, she’s taking some outside shots which is great.”
The Selkirk Storm of Kimberley got 26 points from Freddie Campbell in a 79-71 decision over the Timberwolves Thursday.
Jenna Mulholland led Bloom with 25 points while Amy Verhage dropped in 16.
The Immaculata Mustangs met the Kelowna Christian Knights in Saturday night’s all-Kelowna final.
The Mustangs ambushed the Similkameen Sparks of Keremeos 96-51 in one Friday semifinal, while the Knights disposed of the Cedars Christian Eagles of Prince George 62-46 in the other.
The Vernon Panthers have been seeded sixth for the Telus B.C. AAA boys championships which begin Wednesday in Langley. The Okanagan champion Panthers will face No. 11 R.A. McMath Wildcats of Richmond in their opener at 6:15 p.m.